We always cherish the surprise encounters with nature’s wonders at Tending Your Yard, Tending The Earth. Yet, it’s not every day that you spot a symbol of America’s wild beauty, right here on our grounds. Imagine our thrill when we recently glimpsed a juvenile bald eagle, gracing the rear, more secluded part of our property.
Upon closer observation, and with the input of our visiting group, it was confirmed. Those unmistakable yellow eyes, the hooked beak, and the mottled brown and white feathers – all telltale signs of a bald eagle in its young age, likely between 1 to 2 years old. The iconic white head and tail feathers, which come to mind when you think of a bald eagle, are yet to fully develop. These will gradually appear and mature by the time they’re around 5 years old.
The recent sightings of bald eagle families at both Mt. Feake Cemetery and Mt. Auburn Cemetery indicate the expansion of these magnificent birds in the Waltham area. Additionally, the nearby Cambridge Reservoir, a mere mile away “as an eagle flies”, is renowned for its bird habitat. The reservoir’s commitment to ecological management and woodland protection makes it a haven for various bird species, including the bald eagle.
But it’s not just us who were left in awe. Our majestic visitor was witnessed by a group from Grow Native Massachusetts (GNM). A nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating the use of native plants in Massachusetts landscapes, GNM has a plethora of initiatives under its wing. From hosting native plant sales, educational workshops, and seminars to offering garden design consultations, they are the go-to for anyone passionate about native plants.
As a member of the Native Plant Trust and a partner of the Homegrown National Park, GNM is part of a larger effort to create a national network of native plant gardens. Their mission? To educate the masses on the multitude of benefits of planting native:
- Native plants, being well-adapted to local conditions, require less water and fertilizer.
- They are a lifeline, providing food and shelter to native wildlife, including birds, butterflies, and even bees.
- With their deep roots, they control erosion effectively and play a vital role in protecting water quality.
- Their inherent beauty and variety add a unique charm to any landscape.
The sad truth, however, is that while nature offers us such wonders, our actions sometimes inadvertently harm them. A stark reminder was the tragic death of a bald eagle in Waltham, which consumed a poisoned mouse. It’s a heartfelt plea to our neighbors and community members: please consider alternatives for pest control. Mechanical traps, or even cats, can be effective without putting our treasured wildlife at risk.
To discover more about the vital work of Grow Native Massachusetts and to embark on your own native planting journey, we urge you to explore their website. Every native plant you introduce, whether to a sprawling garden or a modest balcony, is a leap towards a more sustainable, biodiverse future. And remember, even the smallest patches of native flora can become a magnet for nature’s wonders. Your balcony garden might just attract its own winged visitor one day.
If you’re inspired to immerse yourself further into nature’s embrace, we invite you to Tending Your Yard, Tending The Earth. Here, you can experience the profound beauty and intricacies of the natural world in all its glory. Explore, learn, and forge a deeper connection with nature. We eagerly await your visit, and who knows? You might just have your own majestic encounter. Visit our website today to plan your adventure with us.